There are many ways to take in a city's history, cuisine and architecture but few will burn calories in the process. Food bike tours are fast becoming one of the best ways to absorb the soul of a city while enjoying the outdoors. Offering a totally different perspective from typical tourist itineraries, these local guides take their visitors to a city's hidden gems. Neighborhoods where local tastes and experiences can be discovered and enjoyed are revealed in the process.
Curious to know more? We've done the hard pedaling for you:
Uncover East Austin Bike Food Tour leads cyclists on electric bikes throughout Downtown and South Congress over four hours. Even those who know the area like the back of their hand will feel like they're exploring a new city. Brazilian, Japanese and African cuisines are part of this tour. The company also offers bike tours focused on sweets and the best food trucks and craft beer in Austin. East Austin Electric Bike Food Tour brakes for cupcakes at Sugar Circus — Photo courtesy of Leah Overstreet
Charlotte, North Carolina
Guests nibble on fried chicken, pickles, calamari and traditional southern cornbread during breaks in their leisurely bike ride through Taste & Cycle Charlotte. The neighborhoods on this two-hour tour are filled with some of the city's grandest homes and architecture.
Trek through Hyde Park, one of Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods and brimming with culture, history, live blues music and great food. The Chicago Bikes, Blues and BBQ Tour through Chicago Tours takes guests through historic and oft-missed sights, including the Obama residence, Osaka Garden and Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. Of course the sounds and tastes of live blues and BBQ are also part of the deal.
Have a sweet tooth? By the early 1900s, Chicago was considered the 'Candy Capital of the World.' Guests learn why as they visit some of the city's best spots for confections during the Sweet Home Chicago Food Tour. Sweets are included!
Tours are offered daily from May through September and are kid-friendly.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Talk about an Adventure on Tap. The Fort Collins Brews Cruise will have you cruising through three local breweries by beach cruiser bike complete with a bike basket to transport your Growler.
Everyone knows of the French Quarter. Just outside the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans, however, is "some of the best gumbo, thick with fresh shrimp and andouille sausage." So says the proprietor and leader of the New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour. Jeff Shyman, founder and full-time guide, takes his guests to the spots where locals go after work to enjoy fried oyster po' boys, pork boudin and crawfish freshly caught and boiled with corn and potatoes.
If cocktails are more your thing, the Le Bon Temps Rouler Historical New Orleans drinking tour takes you through five drinking establishments where you'll learn about the drinks (and the drinkers) the city has spawned. New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour takes guests to spots where the locals go. — Photo courtesy of New Orleans Culinary Bike Tour
It's fitting that Portland - one of the best bike cities in the country, with 180 miles of bike lanes and 79 miles of off-street bike paths - would offer killer food bike tours.
The Food Cart Crawl takes guests through Portland's most scenic neighborhoods, over a three-hour tour where hundreds of food carts will have you drooling in indecisiveness. Be sure to try local staples like a Wiffies fried pie or the fish tacos from the Fishbox carts, if they're on your route. Pedal Bike Tours in Portland stop for Voodoo Donuts. — Photo courtesy of Erin Berzel
The Choice is Yours
There's no better way to see the sights, get some exercise and enjoy the local flavor than food bike tours. The challenge will be deciding which city to taste first.